May Day Still Counts
Join us in celebrating May Day, International Workers Day, and unite to oppose the attacks coming down on working people, the oppressed, and youth. Once again our party has been working with the Boston May Day Coalition and many other progressive organizations in planning this annual event and celebration. The rally, which will begin at 1 PM at the Parkman Bandstand in Boston Common, will bring together many compelling speakers united in their demand for justice.
The deep economic and social crisis we are living through is unprecedented in contemporary history. The death toll in the US from the coronavirus has far surpassed the total number of US deaths from World War II, the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan combined. While so many of us have been dying, Wall Street has been soaring to all-time highs! The depth of the crisis was underscored when fascist lackeys of Trump and Wall Street took over the Capitol in an effort to steal and overturn the election. The response of the repressive forces would have been qualitatively different if crowds opposing systemic racism and social injustice had stormed the Capitol. From the evidence emerging, many folks now understand that many of the police are merely fascists in uniform and cannot be relied upon to defend our rights.
What has changed for workers in 136 years?
May Day, or International Workers Day has its roots in a Chicago labor rally turned riot a century and a half ago.. The May 4, 1886, rally at Haymarket Square was organized by labor radicals to protest the killing and wounding of several workers by the Chicago police during a strike the day before at the McCormick Reaper Works.
Toward the end of the Haymarket Square rally, a group of policemen arrived to disperse the crowd. As the police advanced, an individual who was never identified threw a bomb at them. The police and possibly some members of the crowd opened fire and chaos ensued. Seven police officers and at least one civilian died as a result of the violence that day, and an untold number of other people were injured.
The Haymarket Riot set off a national wave of xenophobia, as scores of foreign-born radicals and labor organizers were rounded up by the police in Chicago and elsewhere. In August 1886, eight men labeled as anarchists were convicted in a sensational and controversial trial. The jury was widely considered to be biased. Indeed, no solid evidence was presented linking the defendants to the bombing.
Judge Joseph E. Gary imposed the death sentence on seven of the men, and the eighth was sentenced to 15 years in prison. On November 11, 1887, four of the men were hanged….Labor organizers around the world believed the men had been convicted unfairly and viewed them as martyrs. May Day, or International Workers Day, has been celebrated around the world in honor of these martyrs and the millions of other workers denied decent treatment ever since.
We celebrate this resistance!
How much has changed since 1886? Clearly we still must speak up and speak out against continuing abuses. The brutal murders of black folks by racist police pile up a bloody record around the country while the guilty cops run around free. The broad resistance in the streets to police brutality will continue until there is justice on a broad scale. Yet we continue to challenge this appalling record. Let’s celebrate this resistance! Not only in the street, but also in the workplace do we find those who dare to speak out. From Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama to striking nurses in Worcester, workers are organizing unions and fighting the bosses. Let’s celebrate this resistance! We speak out also for our migrant sisters and brothers. Deportations continue. Millions of immigrants lack driver’s licenses and legal permanent resident status. As we have seen in the past, expect the resistance to explode again in the future. Let’s celebrate this resistance! From record high temperatures and droughts to deep snow and ice in Texas, climate change is here. The future of extreme climate is upon us. The fossil fuel industries, the war machine, and imperial wars have faced world-wide resistance. Let’s celebrate this resistance!
Let's join together for an all day celebration of May Day 2021 starting at 1:00 PM on Boston Common. The Rally will be followed by a March to Nubian Square. Upon arrival at Nubian Square, there will be another Rally followed by a Nighttime March @ 6:00 PM cosponsored by New England Front Against Fascism.
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